Banking, Money and Taxes in Australia
Australia is a major regional financial hub with a sophisticated banking system, and expats will find there is plenty of professional support available when it comes to educating oneself about and understanding different aspects of financial management in the country.
Money in Australia
The Australian Dollar (AUD or $A) is the official currency in Australia, and is divided into 100 cents. Within Australia, expats will see currency simply abbreviated as $, though this isn’t to be confused with the US dollar.
- Notes: 5 AUD, 10 AUD, 20 AUD, 50 AUD and 100 AUD
- Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents; 1 AUD and 2 AUD
Both cash and credit/debit cards are readily accepted in most places in Australia. Furthermore, ATMs are ubiquitous; with all services in English.
Banking in Australia
Expats wanting to open a bank account in Australia should always investigate all available options, particularly as interest rates can vary between one bank and another. Australia’s major banks are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank.
As banks are always keen to attract new customers, most have a wide range of services and are keen to provide assistance to expats. Opening a bank account in Australia is a fairly straightforward procedure as long as expats ensure they bring along all the required documentation.
Taxes in Australia
Moving to Australia temporarily for work or to live there permanently means that at some point expats will encounter the Australian Tax Office. Expats will be classified as either a temporary resident, a permanent resident or a non-resident for tax purposes.
Australia uses a progressive tax system and the amount of tax paid depends on how much an individual earns. Aside from income tax, expats may also be required to pay the Medicare levy.
As tax can be a complex issue, it is recommended that expats consult a tax advisor on this issue, preferably one that has experience working with foreigners paying tax in Australia.